On photograph framing?

I just went to my local framing shop and picked out a mat and frame. (frame was just a L section sample). The shop said the frame would be ready in two weeks. At that time I will see how the hold project came to gather. Has anyone used an o line framing shop and how did that work out.

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I’ve never done custom framing online, but have purchased several standard size frames to cycle photos through. Just plain black ones that make a small gallery on one wall.

The custom frames I have done have backings that can be reused so that I can change the pictures from time to time. It wasn’t anything the framer had done before so we worked through how it would be made and now I have custom frames that I can use over and over again. Believe it or not it was the framing department at my local Hobby Lobby.

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Hi Kristen
Than you for the information.

Hi Peter,

I’m assuming you mean “online” ordering? Many, many moons ago I hired out local framers to mat/frame my prints. But that soon became cost prohibitive and I started doing the matting and framing mysefl; cut my own mats, ordered material online and locally. I would go to my local frame shop and go thru all the mat colors. I was double-matting and using the thin, innter mat to pull out the accent color. It took time to pick colors that matched.

Then… I had my first gallery showing (remember, moons ago…) and it was very cost prohibitive to have custom work done. As it were, it cost a LOT of money to do it your self! 10-12 24x30" prints, framed, double-matted, etc. etc. So I quite doing custom colors/frames, etc. and went with simple black frame, white mats. Order the same material for each print in bulk saved some money…

At some point you settle in on a process and result you like and can reproduce. Then shop the individual components for best prices, (acrylic, foam core, picture wire, all that stuff.

I’ve sourced custom mats, frames and tried many over the years. The one that I continually went back to was Framedestination.com. I won’t claim they’re the best or the cheapest, but don’t recall I ever had a reason to not use them… :slight_smile: There are many frame supply companies online. I’m sure reputable as well.

In the end, local framing is very expensive - obviously you’re paying for their labor on top of the materials. Boils down to what are the intentions? For onsie-twosie print framing, why not support local business? But if you’re doing a larger quantity for a show or selling (art shows, etc.,) then it might be worth investing in the tools and supplies to do yourself.

Hope this helps.

I don’t know much about ordering frames online, Peter. As Lon said, it depends on what you’re trying to do and how much of it. If you are thinking of large production, I’ve noticed in our local community that there are lots of people who have been there, done that and have used equipment that they would be more than happy to part with.

  1. For her birthday last year, my brother and I gave our mom a family photo session with a local professional portrait photographer. Then for her birthday this year I ordered a big print (like 12"x18") through ProDPI. The print, no mat (mom didn’t want one), a simple but nice wooden frame, glass, and shipping came to less than $150 total. I was impressed.

  2. When I lived in Sacramento I was a member of a co-op photo gallery there, called Viewpoint. They offered lessons on DIY mat cutting and framing. If you can find someone to teach you, cutting mats for an occasional print isn’t hard, and the mats themselves are like $10 each. Then you get Nielsen aluminum sectional frames. They’re available at art supply stores in sizes from like 6" to 36" or something, and each pack has two sections/sides of the frame. So you buy two packs of the appropriate size — say, 10" by 14" — and put the four sections together to get whatever frame size you need. They’re probably more expensive now, but circa 2018 it was maybe $30 for the two packs to frame something like 10" by 14".

Hi Peter

I looked into ordering frames online. Both custom and “standard” sizes. I didn’t find them all that much less expensive than local framing. As someone said, you’re paying for labor.
I ended up finding a single-mat black wood frame at Michael’s, a crafts store. Not sure if they are where you are. It will take my 11x17 print. I plan to swap out prints with this frame/mat. I bought two and they often have two for one sales. But selection is limited of course.

I wonder why there are so few offerings at stores for 2x3 aspect ratio images which is what my camera produces? Most frames in stores are 4x5 aspect ratio!

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Hi Lon, Dennis & Dan
Thank you for your input. I am putting together a package of photographs, as a gift to the Oncology department of MidState Hospital and their Nurse Divagation Priscilla Moreira who is a saint. These frames are to be displayed in the hospitals quality is important.
I also hope this shots will put a smile on the people in the treatment center.
First day and last day

What a difference a few weeks can make.

Nurse Divagations


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Thank you Mark for your input.

What a wonderful gift these will be! They should definitely be appreciated.

Hi Peter,

I’ve tried a few different online options and have recently settled with https://www.frameiteasy.com. They can do all sorts of custom sizes and formats and are priced fairly reasonably (you can also have them print and then frame but never tested that myself). While they don’t have the more complex framing options (float frame mounting, etc.), they often run promos which you can use to stock up if you are looking for your basic frames.

Hope this is helpful.

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Hi Sangram
Thank your for the information.